April is winter, weighed with new brightness,
reaching through branches to hidden empties,
the frozen yard, its blue flowers under rusty trees
and shit up to the door. Hunger is our problem,
haylage was a price and now we rent
fields of winter beet. The frosted lambs get up
from sleep-melted circles; one squeak from the gate
and they pour off the hills. Farming is about waking up
one thing and not another, yet it all grows at once:
lambs with rotten cloves; brassicas with moths;
oil on the shed floor, blood from a cracked face,
an Off Licence miles off. Last night thaws:
I had tacked the chainharrow to the Landrover,
span around the fields, music banged as lambs
foamed in the hedgerows. However neglected, they all come
to look, I mean I, we, they, all come looking, the same.
A horse field— pelt sprites snag barbed wire.
High gaps with cloud-sectioned prism mist. Distant rainfall—
steep, side-hauled, ghostly, rhomboid. A winter of ore,
of bracken, lichen, blackthorn. Wind scours and
pelts rain-morse, wired to my blood. The diffuse tarpaulin sun is cold,
more like a moon. Yellow gorse scours a hedgerow. A gap as big as a man,
hoof-stumped paths of compact mirrors. My own stupor
and horse stupor: Its side-eyed focus, black retina, convex reflection, the cornea
shining with the bowled locus luminous—twin fields of tight grass.
The horse checks me out for succour, food, needing something
better than grass. To us what’s weird is horse normal.
Choughs break on the wind— their call is numinous, as is the
silence between calls. Posts, wire, gorse’s coconut scent.
My compass needle scours north. I invent what I find, eating grass.